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Community Foundation for the Alleghenies (CFA) is announcing nearly $1.5 million in new funding available for the next three years for projects that support sustainable results in two strategic arenas: community development and early childhood education.

By helping more local children achieve success and by creating job- and resource-rich environments to support them as adults, the Foundation’s overall goal is to create a holistic approach to the long-term health of Cambria and Somerset counties.

The new CFA funding, which is distinct from CFA’s fall and spring grant rounds, became available through a new anonymous donor.

Combined with additional funding, including support from the Richard King Mellon Foundation and additional sources, the new initiatives represent an investment of more than $4 million dollars over the next three years. CFA President Mike Kane says the Foundation also is seeking additional donations to both funds and that they offer a unique opportunity to affect change or leave a lasting legacy.

“These specific donors share our passion and commitment to creating a better future for Cambria and Somerset counties,” Kane says. “We welcome and encourage additional contributions from people who are interested in furthering these efforts to support our children and communities, forever.” To learn more, please contact Mike Kane at 814-225-1247 or

Click here for more information about the Community Initiatives Fund for Community Development.

Click here for more information about the Early Childhood Education Fund.

With community development projects, the Foundation plans to support programs that demonstrate momentum and follow strategies already identified as critical to the region’s future, such as those outlined by Alleghenies Ahead and Vision Together 2025.

“If we can continue to work together to create environments where our children will be able to live, work, and raise their families, then we make a difference that continues for generations down the road,” Kane adds.

CFA Program Officer Angie Berzonski discusses the Foundation’s new Early Childhood Education Fund.

With early childhood education projects, CFA is looking to offer support that meets research-based needs, such as helping more students read proficiently by third grade and giving more families access to high-quality pre-K care. Reading proficiently by third grade is widely identified as a marker for educational success: Students who don’t read proficiently by the end of third grade are at least three times more likely to not finish high school. The local need can’t be ignored, CFA Program Officer Angie Berzonski says.

“PA Partnerships for Children data shows that only 32 percent of child care capacity in Cambria and Somerset counties combined is currently considered to be ‘high-quality’ according to Keystone STARS performance standards,” Berzonski says. “We realize there may be some facilities or home-based programs that have not registered through STARS, but the statistic is still alarming. If we are able to help more early childhood education providers become high-quality programs – through enhanced teacher training and improved facilities – more children will be socially, emotionally, and academically prepared for the future.”

Applications for this year’s funding will be accepted through Sept. 6. Click here to visit the online grant application page.

CFA will host two workshops on July 8 to help local organizations understand project objectives and learn more about the application process.

Times and dates for the hour-long workshops are:
• Community Initiatives Fund Community Development Grants Workshop: 8 a.m. July 8
• Early Childhood Education Grants: 9:30 a.m. July 8

Both workshops will be held at Community Foundation for the Alleghenies offices on the fourth floor of the AmeriServ Financial building at 216 Franklin Street, Suite 400, Johnstown, PA 15901.

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